Modify 24/7 taxi rule in Madison, says Scott Resnick in new ordinance to allow Uber, Lyft

2014-08-05T16:45:00Z Modify 24/7 taxi rule in Madison, says Scott Resnick in new ordinance to allow Uber, LyftMIKE IVEY | The Capital Times |

Vowing to create a fair playing field while protecting existing taxi companies, downtown Ald. Scott Resnick, a candidate for mayor, has released details of an ordinance to allow Uber, Lyft and other ride services to operate legally in Madison.

Most significantly, Resnick wants to drop the city requirement that all taxi services operate 24/7, a rule long considered a regulatory roadblock to independent drivers and transportation network companies, or TNCs. That category includes Uber and Lyft, companies that employ drivers who use their own cars with rides coordinated via mobile app.

Instead, the ordinance will require at least one taxi company to provide 24/7 service.

If no companies comply, a daily after-hour surcharge is assessed to every company to help subsidize future 24/7 service, although Resnick says testimony from the taxi cab companies and industry experts suggests 24/7 service for the entire city will continue.

“My ordinance provides an opportunity for TNCs to legally operate in Madison, while reflecting our community's values and the input of stakeholders,” Resnick says in an email Tuesday.

Other details of the Resnick ordinance, which will be introduced to the Madison Transit and Parking Commission subcommittee this week:

• Drivers will be licensed by the city and required to follow the same background check procedures as all taxi drivers.

• Vehicles must be deemed safe to operate by a third party and meet clean emissions standards.

• Consumer protections will be upheld and drivers must follow strict anti-discrimination policies. Services must cover the entire city and strict reporting will be required to ensure every neighborhood is actually being served.

• TNCs are forbidden from operating at taxi stands or taking street hails.

• TNCs and drivers must provide insurance, including $1 million in coverage while servicing passengers. This is modeled from an ordinance recently passed in Minneapolis

Milwaukee, Chicago and Minneapolis have all passed regulations recently for TNCs, but Resnick says his proposal is crafted specifically for Madison and includes “the strongest language on the books in the Midwest.”

Resnick claims his plan is much stronger than Milwaukee’s, which includes no provisions to license TNCs and no requirements they serve the entire city.

“While this may work for Milwaukee, it is not acceptable for Madison,” Resnick says.

But Jason Glomp, president of Union Cab in Madison, says the ordinance doesn't provide enough details on the insurance piece. He also says lifting the 24/7 requirement is a mistake in a city without 24-hour bus service.

"The real question is why is the city going to all of this trouble of trying to regulate companies that have shown no interest complying with existing regulations over the last five months?" he says. "Why they feel the need to push out small local business at any cost is still a mystery to me."

Resnick notes that the Transit and Parking Commission subcommittee will continue to review the ordinance and provide a final recommendation to the full commission and City Council later this summer.

“At this time, I am inviting feedback from all stakeholders who are interested in the debate,” says Resnick, who works in the information technology industry as vice president of Hardin Design and Development.

Mayor Paul Soglin has said he is working on his own ordinance for TNCs but has yet to release the details.

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(22) Comments

  1. Stammering Fool
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    Stammering Fool - August 06, 2014 11:52 am
    Yeah, having a weapon in your cab is a dandy idea. If the robber doesn't have a gun already, they will have one after they rob you from the back seat. Then they might just use it on you. I guess you've never driven a cab.....a gun is a bad idea.
  2. Stammering Fool
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    Stammering Fool - August 06, 2014 11:49 am
    Are you one of the a holes I had in my cab who didn't want to pay and puked on the back seat? I thought I recognized your attitude.
  3. Stammering Fool
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    Stammering Fool - August 06, 2014 11:48 am
    Mike Roach proposed this for his one man company that the City turned down. Mike probably has grounds for a lawsuit if they allow a billion dollar company the luxury of using a local cab company to do their business for them when they don't want to work.
  4. Stammering Fool
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    Stammering Fool - August 06, 2014 11:46 am
    Allowing Uber to operate in San Francisco without proper insurance coverage has left that city on the hook for a $24 million lawsuit because an uninsured Uber driver ran over a family in a crosswalk and killed a 6 yr old girl on New Year's Eve of last year. Taxis can have accidents, too. But I've never heard of a taxi company in Madison that didn't have the insurance to pay a claim.
  5. madisoncabbie
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    madisoncabbie - August 06, 2014 9:14 am
    Yes it would and if they don't remove that function, I'll be the first to line up for a discrimination complaint.
  6. madisoncabbie
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    madisoncabbie - August 06, 2014 9:12 am
    The poor can afford taxi service. And yes, the bus doesn't run 24/7, that's the point. Taxis are used for third shift workers. They usually get a premium for working those hours and use that money to get there via taxis.
  7. madisoncabbie
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    madisoncabbie - August 06, 2014 9:10 am
    Many people are satisfied with the service. Drunk people who can't tell time have the most problems.
  8. sch-wi
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    sch-wi - August 06, 2014 9:10 am
    I agree with jimatmadison. Let them compete on a level playing fied, or not at all.
  9. madisoncabbie
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    madisoncabbie - August 06, 2014 9:09 am
    There are always a cab on the road for each company at every hour of every day.
  10. LibdameDane
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    LibdameDane - August 06, 2014 6:54 am
    Yes madison man has a point! We should not be contributing to divisions in the community, islands Of poverty and despair! Taxis and Uber should run everywhere 24/7 and be bonded and pay a living wage so a taxi driver can live in Madison and pay taxes in Madison! And I older lady still believe this is a UNION town all down the line!!
  11. jimatmadison
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    jimatmadison - August 06, 2014 6:09 am
    What is the point of removing the 24-7 rule except to let Uber and Lyft operate?

    Why eliminate a transportation service for an entire city so that two businesses can benefit?

    We have functioning, profitable cab companies who follow the rules and make money doing it in a way that makes sense for Madison.

    If Uber and Lyft can't do the same, that's on them. They need Madison. We don't need them.
  12. B3NT
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    B3NT - August 06, 2014 4:24 am
    A major expense for legitimate cab companies is insurance. The TNCs, quite intentionally I believe, don't require proof their drivers have commercial insurance, but their 'terms of service' require it. If the driver doesn't carry commercial insurance, the TNCs terms appear to invalidate any coverage whatsoever. Their terms of service the customer agrees to by using the app can also hold the TNC harmless. Google 'Herrera vs. Uber' for one shining example of a passenger injured in a crash, and read Uber's response. Among other points, Uber says 1.) 'We're not a transportation company', 2) 'the driver indemnified Uber', and 3) 'the customer gave up any claim by using the app, and thereby agreed to Uber's electronic agreement'.

    Glomp is correct to say Resnick's ordinance is not clear enough on insurance. Every vehicle used by a TNC must carry proof of STANDARD COMMERCIAL level liability, medical, and uninsured motorist insurance for that vehicle, with industry standard deductibles. This is a public safety issue, and there should be no room for squirming out of that responsibility. Just saying they have to have $1 million coverage doesn't answer the question. That $1M coverage likely covers the TNC's corporate liability and leaves the drivers and passengers out in the cold. Read those 'terms of service' that we're all so accustomed to skipping over and checking the little box anyway!
  13. B3NT
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    B3NT - August 06, 2014 4:04 am
    It's advertising a free ride, something we 'real' taxi companies and taxi drivers can't afford to do. (There are four legitimate cab companies in Madison, three owned by three different private groups or individuals, and one worker owned cooperative. Vicki McKenna was sadly mistaken. I wonder if she ever owned up to that mistake.) Notice I don't identify which one I work for? That would be advertising.
  14. NucNavMan
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    NucNavMan - August 05, 2014 11:28 pm
    Is this an ad?
  15. Fflambeau
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    Fflambeau - August 05, 2014 10:14 pm
    Resnick's ideas make a good deal of sense. He has a shot at being the next mayor too. Coming up with innovative plans like this sets him off from other candidates.
  16. ginrummy
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    ginrummy - August 05, 2014 9:59 pm
    Sure, you can "require" 24 hour service but if no one's online at the hour someone requests service then you won't get service. I would think they could simply do a scan and see no drivers are available and forward to a service providing 24 hour service.
  17. James Riendeau
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    James Riendeau - August 05, 2014 9:56 pm
    Poor can't afford taxi service, and the bus doesn't run 24/7.
  18. kmanmadison
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    kmanmadison - August 05, 2014 9:49 pm
    Please vote for resnick so I can actually get a ride in a taxi when I need one.

    Madison's current taxi service leaves a lot to be desired and that's being as kind as I can be.

  19. Lexus Peterson
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    Lexus Peterson - August 05, 2014 9:46 pm
    Resnik is a tech geek with an iPhone so clearly he's the smartest guy in the room.
  20. Umgwana
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    Umgwana - August 05, 2014 9:45 pm
    Barriers to transportation are one of the most significant obstacles the poor face when trying to obtain and maintain jobs. Eliminating the 24/7 requirement would be a mistake.

    If Uber and Lyft are so great, they can field a 24/7 service. If they can't to hell with them.
  21. MadisonAreaMan
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    MadisonAreaMan - August 05, 2014 9:10 pm
    Scott Resnick really disrespects the entire cab industry in Madison that has served the community and powered our local economy and provided service all over the city for decades and played by the rules for decades when he suddenly wants to make an exception to those rules for a large hedge fund powered set of companies that are already ignoring the City.

    Why would Scott Resnick be trying to rewrite City ordinances to make exceptions for huge hedge fund investment companies that already ignore those same ordinances and that ignore letters from the City attorney?

    The biggest irony of all this is that the cab companies in Madison are the only ones who are following the rules, following the laws here. Resnick wants to rewrite ordinances to allow Uber & Lyft to operate here. But they already ignore our laws.

    We'll end up with a two-tier regulatory system: one tier for local companies that follow the laws and another tier for huge hedge fund investment firms that don't follow the laws. The cab companies will be the only ones who actually even try to follow the laws. They will be the only ones who are actually paying attention to City ordinances. They will be the only ones afraid of enforcement.
  22. ginrummy
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    ginrummy - August 05, 2014 5:43 pm
    Don't Uber and Lyft function by providing rides to people near where the drivers are? So drivers many not be in the undesirable parts of the city thus not provide service to those areas. Also, don't the models have a system where drivers and riders rate each other and riders who are rated badly won't be provided rides by drivers who rated them? The user-provider rating system keeps bad drivers from giving service and bad riders from getting picked up. Would this be called discrimination?
    If drivers must provide service to the whole city without regard to where they are located the real mandate is that they carry no cash and have a concealed weapon and permit.
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